Green Forest draws top seed Charleston in Class 3A Region 1 event

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Clayton Watson leads the Tigers with 12 points per game. (Chan Davis / Carroll County News)

GREEN FOREST -- For the second year in a row, Green Forest opens play in the Class 3A, Region 1 Tournament against Charleston.

The Tigers earned a No. 4 seed after beating Greenland in last week's 1-3A West Conference Tournament while Charleston earned the top seed from Region 4. The two square off at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Elkins.

"This is basically the same two teams as last year," Green Forest coach Brandon Stone said. "We have basically the same guys and they didn't lose anyone either. So we know each other."

Stone said there is one key difference for the Tigers.

"The guys have a different demeanor this year," he said. "They are not star-struck. It makes a difference in their mentality."

Stone will rely on leading scorers Clayton Watson and Jordyn Mullins. Watson averages 12 points per game while Mullins averages 11.

"The biggest thing for us is we have to make shots," Stone said. "If we can make shots we can stay competitive. That's been our problem this year. We have spent a lot of time shooting the past few days."

The Tigers spent morning practice time at Fred Grim Gym with one task at hand before returning to class -- make 100 free throws and 100 three-pointers.

"I have a couple of guys that can finish," Stone said. "Regardless if they finish or not it can only help."

Prior to last year, Green Forest last entered a regional tournament as a No. 4 seed in 2008. The Tigers upset top-seeded Lavaca and went on to win the regional format to reach the state level. Stone and the Tigers believe history can repeat itself this year.

"It's a tough draw," Stone said. "But we have played teams that can play with this group. We know the level of competition they are at. We know what to expect. And we know we can compete with them. If we show up and play with confidence there's no doubt we can win."

Watson's 12 points per game and Mullins' 11 are the only two Tigers to average double figures.

"The last few games we have been balanced," Stone said. "We need to get a couple more scoring 10-12 per game instead of just two in double figures. If we had four it would make things much easier on us. They would have to guard everyone."

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